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Woman 'drove into path of truck'

PUBLISHED: 10:45 14 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:47 05 July 2010

An 80-year-old woman received fatal injuries after she drove her car into the path of a lorry on the A143 Yarmouth-Diss road near Gillingham, an inquest heard.

An 80-year-old woman received fatal injuries after she drove her car into the path of a lorry on the A143 Yarmouth-Diss road near Gillingham, an inquest heard.

Witnesses reported seeing Norma Daking's white VW Polo car edging slowly out of a gravel track that led on to a layby and not stopping before moving out on to the main road.

Jewson transport manager Adrian Stuart McCloud, who was driving a Leyland Daf lorry towards Yarmouth, had no time to stop before hitting the car square-on as it tried to manoeuvre into the opposite carriageway, towards Beccles, it was said.

Ms Daking, of Orchard Valley, Holton, near Halesworth, and her sister-in-law, Rosemary Goddard, had just visited their granddaughter at her home off the stony track when it happened at about 2.30pm on June 9.

Mr McCloud told the hearing he believed he was driving at 40 to 45mph when he spotted Mrs Daking's car on the track to his left. He added: “As I approached, I saw her look left and I thought she was going to look my way, but she looked forward and drove straight out on to the road. I had no option, I hit the vehicle square-on, and my concern was to not go over her vehicle, so I swerved and pushed the vehicle alongside me and came to a halt.”

Mrs Goddard, who is still recovering from her injuries, said she had always considered her sister-in-law a good driver and had often been her passenger over the past 53 years.

She could not recall whether Mrs Daking had stopped but remembered that hedges on the right-hand side had reduced visibility before the track led on to a layby, where the approaching lorry could clearly be seen.

Two further witnesses in separate vehicles recalled that the VW did not stop before moving directly in front of the lorry.

The inquest was told that Mr McCloud, who is based at Lowestoft, had been charged with speeding in relation to the incident and was due to appear before Norwich magistrates.

Greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said it would be inappropriate to comment further, given the pending court case, but the manoeuvre out of the track and out of the layby was not wise in the circumstances. He recorded a verdict of death by road accident and expressed his sympathy to Mrs Daking's family.

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